I used to worry a lot about what people think of me. I felt that I could be damaged or even destroyed by someone’s words, or my failure to achieve an arbitrary level of success.
I tried to present the right image in each encounter. When something went wrong, I would run and hide.
I still worry a lot, of course. But now for the most part I worry about different things. If there’s anything good about getting older, it’s that I care much less about people seeing my faults.
Now—at least sometimes—when I encounter a situation that might bring me down, I tend to think who cares? Get a life, man. I have one.
A while back I wrote about the idea of your life as a movie, with you as the director. When you go through your archives in post-production, you might stumble on a scene that feels particularly surreal.
In those times, you may wonder, “Why did I put this scene in my movie?”
I’ve been thinking about this lately as I continue my journey. With the benefit of perspective, I realize that some of the scenes in my movie are… well, a little surreal. Looking back on those scenes, it’s easy to wonder, “Did that really happen?”
Sometimes the reflection is positive:
“Wow, I still can’t believe I did that! I had an idea and I made it happen. I followed a dream and I’m so glad I did.”
And sometimes it’s negative:
“Wow, that was bad. Was I really that wrong about such a fundamental situation? Was I that wrong about myself?”
It’s only with hindsight that some things make sense, and it’s also true that at a certain point you worry less about the ones that never will.
Still, why do we put these scenes in our lives?